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Day 40 – Q 4.The relationship between a taxpayer and the government should be that of a client and a service provider. Do you agree?

4. The relationship between a taxpayer and the government should be that of a client and a service provider. Do you agree?

करदाता और सरकार के बीच संबंध ग्राहक और सेवा प्रदाता का होना चाहिए। क्या आप सहमत हैं?


        2nd ARC report on “Citizen centric governance”, advocated about more objective, visible and substantial relation between government and the taxpayers. However, the relationship is ever evolutionary and has undergone a dynamic change-


          Traditionally the relationship between the government and the taxpayer was seen as Donor-Recipient relationship, how with changing time the dynamics of this relationship has changed. The relationship can be seen as that of the Client & Taxpayer, due the following examples-

  • Emergence of direct social accountability mechanisms of Citizen Charter, Social Audit Performance report cards.
  • With Liberalization, increase in choices lead to increase in Competition.
  • Rights based approach specially via key legislation such as Right to Education, National Food Security Act, Information Acts.
  • Total Quality Management or benchmarking of schemes.
  • E-governance policy tools, various feedback mechanisms taken by various ministries.

     Changing the dynamics of the relationship to Client-Service provider relationship, has the following benefits- 

  • It will increase accountability, i.e. -where the money has to be spent and stopping wasteful spending of resources
  • It will set an obligation on the government to use the resources only for the benefit of the public.
  • It would make Government just one of the service provider in the market.
  • It would lead to professionalism, efficiency and economy on the part of the government.
  • It would enable the scope of citizen charter, social audit in government service delivery.
  • Increasing competition in the economy and keep it going.
  • Providing Rights based approach via key legislations.
  • Mechanisms for grievance redressal and punishment for delay in delivery.

However, the Government is not just like any other private entity (whose aim is just profit maximization)- so the functions should only aim at welfare of individuals and not competition with private providers, due to the following arguments- 

  • Taxation should be used for seeking representation and not mandatory services
  • The job of the Government is that of maintaining equity in the society and providing equal opportunities for all.
  • The poor, who don’t pay taxes are also citizens of the country – they should also enjoy service provided by the Government.
  • The right to get service and being the beneficiary cannot be the right only of the taxpayers.
  • It would go against the socialistic credentials of the Constitution.


The relation between the government and the taxpayer is not a direct but a complicated and ever evolutionary relationship. The taxpayers cant expect themselves to be the only beneficiaries and Government must also keep it in mind, that honest taxpayers are real drivers of the country and hence, their benefit should also be of prime importance. Thus, the relationship must be a symbiotic relationship and proceed towards a win-win situation.

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